University Credit Union Pavilion
1928 Saint Marys Road Moraga CA 94575
MORAGA, Calif.—Insufficient blocking and digs plagued the BYU women’s volleyball team, which dropped a 3-0 (25-14, 25-21, 25-23) contest to Saint Mary’s Thursday night on the Gaels’ home court.
“Saint Mary’s was a much better team than we were tonight,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “They got a lot of serves past us and put a lot of pressure on our passers. We weren’t able to respond very well, especially in returning their serves. We did some okay things, but overall they were just a better team than us in that category.”
BYU (20-8, 9-5) falls to 1-2 against Saint Mary’s (14-12, 6-6) this season after losing the first match 3-0 in the BYU Nike Invitational and defeating Saint Mary’s 3-0 in the first round of conference play.
The Gaels' Lauren Corp proved a handful for the Cougar defense as the first set opened, throwing down a kill to put Saint Mary’s on the board and increasing the Gaels’ lead to 5-1 on back-to-back service aces. Middle blocker Nicole Warner scored BYU’s first two points with kills from Hannemann. Three straight errors by Saint Mary’s and a Christie Carpenter kill put BYU back in the set, bringing the score to 11-10 before a 6-1 Gael scoring streak gave Saint Mary’s a comfortable 20-11 lead. Hamson finally recorded her first points of the night, scoring the Cougars’ last three points, but her rally wasn’t enough to prevent a 25-14 Gael win in the first set.
Hannemann started the second set off right for BYU on a service ace. Saint Mary’s took back the lead, but blocks by Warner put the Cougars back on top 3-2. Four consecutive points gave BYU a 7-2 lead, but the Gaels came back to tie with the help of three straight kills by Jordan Shaw. The score tied seven more times before the set ran out with Saint Mary’s pulling away on Cougar errors and an ace for a 25-21 win.
BYU took the early lead in the third set, going up 3-1 on a kill by Casey Thurston. The Cougars maintained at least a two-point lead until a kill by Kathryn LeCheminant launched a 5-1 BYU scoring streak to bring the score to 13-8. Shaw and Samantha Tinsley pulled the Gaels out of their rut with three kills and a Tinsley ace, putting Saint Mary’s within one point of BYU. The Gaels took a 17-16, but LeCheminant managed to tie with a kill. LeCheminant blocked Corp to put the Cougars ahead 19-18. Two more ties turned the tables in Saint Mary’s favor and Shaw sealed the set 25-23 and the match 3-0 for the Gaels.
The Cougars take a break over the weekend before getting set for the final week of the regular season. BYU welcomes Portland to Elaine Michaelis Court Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. and Gonzaga Nov. 19 at 1 p.m. for Senior Day.
Volleyball Faces Gaels in Rematch
PROVO, Utah—In its final road trip of the season, the BYU women’s volleyball team takes on Saint Mary’s Thursday at 7 p.m. PST in a 2011 series tiebreaker on the Gaels’ home court.
“This past week was a great team effort and we are thrilled with the results” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “Saint Mary’s is a great opponent and very well coached. This will be an exciting opportunity to play them for the third time this season. We are looking forward to Thursday.”
No. 3 in conference, the Cougars (20-7, 9-4) are 1-1 against Saint Mary’s (13-12, 5-6) this season after falling to the Gaels 3-0 in the BYU Nike Invitational and defeating them 3-0 in the first round of league play. Saint Mary’s is tied with Loyola Marymount for fourth place in conference.
BYU is fresh off back-to-back home wins against LMU and San Francisco. The match against the Lions proved a tough one after LMU pushed it to five sets. Despite downing the Lions in two straight sets, the Cougars allowed LMU to pick up sets 3 and 4 before BYU wrapped up the contest in the fifth. USF couldn’t keep up momentum in the fourth set against a ruthless BYU defense that forced six attack errors and totaled three blocks and 19 digs. The Dons fell 3-1 after winning the third during a Cougar lull.
Jennifer Hamson led the way with 34 digs on the week, helped out by Christie Carpenter with 27 and Kathryn LeCheminant with 20. LeCheminant tied her career-high of 10 kills in both matches and hit a team-high .531 on the week.
Nicole Warner totaled 16 blocks last week and LeCheminant recorded 11.
Setter Heather Hannemann packed in 103 assists during the two matches, including breaking her career record with 55 against USF. Hannemann and Hamson each reached two double-doubles last week, Hannemann in assists and digs and Hamson in kills and digs. Carpenter also reached a double-double against the Dons with 14 kills and 12 digs.
The Gaels defeated Portland and Gonzaga on the road last week, duking it out with the Pilots in a 3-2 decision Thursday and sweeping the Bulldogs Saturday. Saint Mary’s is 5-5 at home, but added a road win against second-place San Diego to its list of victories Oct. 26. San Diego is one of two league teams the Cougars weren’t able to defeat this season, proving the Gaels’ ability to compete with any team on their schedule.
Lauren Corp leads the Gaels with 3.04 kills per set. Against BYU, Corp totals 20 kills on the season. Jordan Shaw, who averages 3.31 kills, totaled 22 kills in the previous matchups. Gabby Jolly leads Saint Mary’s defense with 1.11 blocks per set and Sarah Reams averages 4.18 digs.
With 20 victories accomplished so far, the Cougars have already achieved their winningest season since 2007.
BYU has only one week left of the regular season after the California road trip. The Cougars welcome Gonzaga and Portland to Elaine Michaelis Court Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 19 at 1 p.m., respectively.
For live stats of the match, click HERE.